No, I’m not a Trekkie marketing consultant.  And I prefer Captain Kirk to Picard if you must know (old school).  But what better way to help you remember to engage, people that is, and early, than with the help of Jean-Luc:

Okay: Engage.  People.  Early.  In their decision cycle.

Engagement comes two ways:

  1. From how you talk to people.
  2. From what you say.

Engagement takes place when you connect with someone on an emotional level.  As in:

I feel comfortable here.

This company understands my problem and has a solution.

I can trust you.

While this may sound simple, it isn’t.

Engage people by HOW you talk to them

The how is the marketing methods you employ.

First, be where they’re searching for you.  Online and off.

Next, make it easy to take a step toward you by making your information obvious and easy to consume.  If, for example, you want people to watch a video, which is a great way to engage people (easy!), make sure it’s the first or second thing they see on the web page (obvious!).  No text or graphical links that take you somewhere else where you have to click again to start the video.  Embed the video right there on the web page.

If you’re dealing with text only, make it easier to consume by giving people headlines to introduce topics, bullets that summarize and vary the paragraph length.  Nothing says “don’t read me” more than a big glob of dense text.

Write in the first person.  I and we, not the company or they.  Remember, you want to connect with people on an emotional level.  Writing in the third person sets up an artificial distance between you and your reader or site visitor.  And please, no jargon or buzzwords.  Don’t make me hunt you down and kill you.

Ditto for a report, white paper or webinar you want people to attend.  All good ways to deliver your message.

Engage people by WHAT you say when you talk to them

Provide information about your area of expertise (for those early in the decision cycle) and about how they can buy from you for those ready to buy.  People search to educate themselves about what you sell and then to find somewhere to buy what you sell.  Have content for both types of visitors.  If you have printed pieces you send cold, or to unqualified prospects, make sure they have information for people at both “places” in the decision cycle.

Don’t compartmentalize your message.  You don’t have a lot of time or space to engage a person.  On average, 50% of the people coming into your site don’t make it past the page they came in on (typically, your home page).  How much of your whole message is there?  If your “about us” message is limited to your “About Us” page, only about 25% of your visitors will get that part of your message.  Only about 50% make it to your “Services” or “Products” page.  I know, it sucks.  So, don’t compartmentalize your message.

Make sure you include your story.  Well duh, right?  Well, not so fast.  So much of what companies say about themselves isn’t very different.  Sure, sitting around a table it sounds great: 45 years in business; full service; excellence awards; latest technology.  Until you have an experience like a prospect.  Google what you do.  Go to your site after going to two or three others.  Are you different or sort of the same?

What does truly make you unique?  That’s what needs to shine.

Okay, go ahead and watch the video again and get all jazzed about being at the helm of your own ship.  And ENGAGE!